Boston Massacre

This passage discusses the Boston Massacre, which helped start the Revolutionary War in America.

Lexile Level: 800L

Categories: History People & Places


The Boston Massacre was one of several events that helped to start the American Revolutionary War. British soldiers killed five civilians in a rioting crowd in Boston on March 5, 1770. Colonists were resentful of the Townshend Acts, which imposed taxes on imports of tea, paper, glass, lead, and paint. Many British soldiers were stationed in Boston to enforce these taxes and to maintain order. The colonists did not like this. This led to fights between soldiers and civilians. The Boston Massacre occurred when British troops shot their muskets into a crowd of people. The funeral of the victims was a large gathering of patriots. The soldiers were tried and two were convicted of manslaughter, while six others were acquitted. The court ruled that the soldiers felt threatened by the crowd. The massacre became important in Revolutionary propaganda. The anniversary of the massacre was observed for many years. Also, the Declaration of Independence refers to the events of the Boston Massacre.


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